In December of 2014, we asked for our readers’ proudest achievements of 2014. We were so thrilled to see the product of everyone’s hard work, and hear stories of projects that opened up new opportunities or broadened skill sets. Whether your 2014 was a year of similar growth or a time to gather your bearings, we wish you all the best in 2015. And now for the work:
In her first year working full-time for a tech startup in NYC, Isha “single-handedly refactored [their] entire front-end code base”, including an upgrade to Bootstrap 3 as their front-end framework of choice. This was no easy feat, involving 70+ work weeks and the eventual removal of 14,000 lines of code. I’m extremely proud of my accomplishment, and feel ever more confident at architecting long lasting and scalable front-end systems for large-scale apps.
Stacey McClure designed an identity for the 2015 Indiana Summit, “a conference that discusses the latest ideas and best practices of K-12 programs”. Following Stacey’s collaboration with IAN on the concept, logo, and overall execution, the conference saw an increase in registrations.
Katie Ladd says of her exploration in art direction and photography, “I know what I want my photos to look like, but they often never come out as so. This time, I wanted to challenge myself to execute my own vision. My most recent project: Hamartia Brewing Company + Artist Collective allowed me to grow in both areas.”
Soofiya’s A Book for Two project—which seeks to create a non-solitary reading experience—won an award from SheSaysUk and best concept from ABW Award in Prague.
Alexandra Sperrazza’s side project, Citrus Drops, was born out of necessity: when Alex makes citrus vinaigrettes for salads, she usually ends up storing the extra amounts in mason jars. She decided to make this whole process more efficient by creating a juicer attachment for her mason jar. Of her process, Alexandra says, “I sketched up a concept and took it to Rhino for a 3D model. The next day, I printed out the model and an hour later I had a lime green juicer! After taking it home to use, I was able to identify several areas to improve upon the design.” The end product was an effective an easy-to-clean tool.
Jordan Whitney Martin collaborated with Megan Pryce on Unspoken, an “installation piece that explores unspoken and nonverbal forms of communication that humans use to express the emotions” that turned out great despite a time crunch.
Emily Haasch has been working hard on the UX research, UI/visual design, and alongside development for “quaint little game studio” Cards Against Humanity’s first e-commerce site. “In addition to helping create millions of dollars in sales within the first 9 months, the store has also been key in evolving the brand beyond the reach of Amazon and keeping within the independent spirit of the game. Likewise, it has been numerously successful in future product launches, including supporting separate e-commerce sites with conversion rates as high as 78%.”
Jess wrote and made her first short film since college. The film was an opportunity to explore a project freely, rather than respond to a tight brief. Jess says, “It started a fire in me I wasn’t sure was still around, and I can’t wait to keep exploring this side of myself and my work”.
The start of something new
Practice, practice, practice
Iris Jong set a goal of 800 hours of drawing practice in 2014, and at time of submission she was on schedule for reaching that goal! That’s about 15 hours of practice per week, a great goal for “the intention of eventually reaching a professional caliber”.
New gigs & big moves
Ellen Wilde’s favorite project this year was the branding of Modern Love, owned by “badass” vegan chef, Isa Moskowitz. This was a big year for Ellen, who moved from Omaha, NE to Portland, OR to surround herself with talented folks and soak up that aspirational inspiration. By a chain of “serendipitous” events, Ellen is now also full-time freelance! Ellen says, “I’m so excited / scared / grateful to be working with some designers I have admired for quite some time”.
Sidney Sue Howard got into the graphic design program at the University of Florida and landed her first job in graphic design and illustration. In her work at frank, “a public interest communications organization designed to spark social change”, Sidney is excited to work on projects outside of her comfort zone every week.
…And a little bit of everything
Editor and Director of Photography Annie Huntington compiled her favorite scraps of footage (“the moments that give me shivers “) from her work for Fancy Rhino in a beautiful new video. She learned “that it’s true what everyone says: make, for you, when nobody tells you to do it. I learned that making sure beauty doesn’t get buried feels like eating ice cream forever and never feeling sick.”
Amy Nicole Schwartz completed an MFA in design at Cranbrook Academy of Art, started working at gravitytank as an interaction designer, started an adjunct position at DePaul University (her alma mater), and won an AIGA grant to start an experimental design initiative in Chicago. Proudest among this busy year has been “learning from and sharing with the talented people around me. I’ve accomplished a lot this year through give and take with a wonderful global design community, and I am incredibly grateful. Let’s make big things happen in 2015, together.”
Couldn’t have said it better ourselves, Amy! Can’t wait to see what everyone does with this new year.